Letter to the Editor – Ballem: the “fall gal” for Vision Vancouver

My Letter to the Editor was published in September 21st’s Vancouver Sun.

Ballem a scapegoat

Re: Ousted city manager a ‘force of nature,’ Sept. 16

Once again, this time at cost to you and I of more than $500,000, Mayor Gregor Robertson and his Vision Vancouver majority have missed the point.

There’s no disputing that Dr. Penny Ballem is an incredibly capable city manager, perhaps one of the most competent ever. When there were problems — and there were plenty — it was because she implemented Vision Vancouver policies that the public simply had no appetite for.

The point is the city manager takes direction from city council.

From the plan to massively densify Grandview-Woodland to the park board’s Leisure Access Pass fiasco, the Vision team attempted to hide behind their city manager hoping she would shoulder the blame for decisions that weren’t hers.

The blowback from Vision’s unpopular policies was so fierce they nearly lost the 2014 election. All the Vision Vancouver city council candidates received fewer votes in total than the NPA city council candidates who ran. Once the election was over, the search was on for a scapegoat.

The cynical decision to make Penny Ballem the “fall gal” for its unpopular decisions costs us plenty. Let’s hope it’s one more bad decision on the part of Vision Vancouver that also costs them the next election.


Co-Chair, Coalition of Progressive Electors


[Read the original letter posted at the Vancouver Sun; it’s the third letter down.]

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